ARCADIA — George Edward Opdyke,73, of Arcadia, Mich., died Jan. 18, 2013 at Munson Medical Center of cardiac arrest. Born Nov. 6, 1939, in Detroit, he was the son of the late Edward Winters Opdyke and Lola (Mawhorter) Opdyke, who survives.
George fought a courageous battle against Multiple Myeloma for four years, always keeping a positive attitude and making plans for the future. His body just could not keep up the fight.
He worked 28 years at the J.L. Hudson Company, first at the downtown Detroit store; then at Lincoln Park and Dearborn, and finally at the Southland Hudson store rising through the ranks from “package pickup” to divisional manager. It was while at Hudson’s that he was called to serve with the U.S. Army in Germany, actively serving from May 3, 1963 to April 2, 1965. Later he owned his own business, Personal Touch Decorating. After retiring he moved to his beloved Arcadia to care for his aging mother.
Knowledgeable about baseball and a good athlete, he coached his sons’ softball and hardball team for a number of years - actually playing for a time with his oldest son, George. While in good health, George enjoyed biking, kayaking, fishing, hiking, snow shoeing, and cross country skiing. He volunteered at the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, as keeping this part of northern Michigan pristine was important to him. He belonged to the NRA and was active in the Arcadia Lions Club while physically able.
George is survived by his 101 year old mother, Lola (Pappy) Opdyke; his sons, George Edward Opdyke II (Jodi), Bryan and Kevin (Heather); and his sister and brother-in-law, Mary Jo and Jerry Hamlin. Also surviving are his five grandchildren; Ashlee, Nicholas, Caitlyn, Breanna and David. One great granddaughter, Emma, also survives. Many cousins; a special Aunt Gladys Opdyke; a “4th son”, Art Smith; his former wife and the mother of his sons, Suzanne Opdyke; his good friend, Chuck Werle; and his special friend, Tina Knowles, are also left to mourn his passing.
A Celebration of George’s life will be held on Saturday, June 22, 2013 at the Arcadia United Methodist Church in Arcadia. Time of the service will be 1 p.m. with luncheon to follow at the Arcadia Lions Club. Rev. Dr. Bobby Cabot will officiate. Memorials may be directed to Arcadia Methodist Church or to the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. Envelopes will be available at the church. Arrangements are with Jowett Family Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Frankfort & Benzonia.